The move will see a total of 96 tonnes of plastic removed from Princes’ tuna product annually, equivalent to 20m plastic shopping bags or 3.7m 2-litre milk bottles.
Princes Tuna Chunks in Springwater 4 Pack will start to appear on shelves in the next few weeks, with the rest of the manufacturer’s range of multipacks – including Drained and Sandwich variants – to transition to plastic-free packs across 2020 and 2021.
Commercial director of Fish at Princes Mat Lowery said: “We have always championed the 100% recyclability of the can of course, but this latest initiative will make it even easier for our consumers to recycle more and feel better about what they buy.
“We must continue to embed sustainability as a foundation for our innovation and our growth. We want our products to be there for families all ways, and to help them to make choices that are positive for the environment.”
The move to cardboard sleeve packaging formed part of a wider sustainability push by Princes, including a commitment to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025 and a continued assessment of plastic alternatives.
“This is a huge undertaking for the business, but one we believe is right for our customers and for the environment,” Lowery added. “We have a clear roadmap for how this will be introduced across our tuna multipack range. We will also continue to innovate across our broader range of products.”
The past year has seen a number of businesses in the food and drink industry move way from plastic outer packaging for multipacks.
In December, Birmingham-based cider maker Aston Manor turned to cardboard packaging to reduce the use of plastic across its range of multipack canned drinks.
Meanwhile, in September, Britain’s best-selling beer brands Budweiser and Stella Artois announced a multi-million pound investment to eliminate plastic rings from can packaging across their entire UK-produced range by the end of 2020.